Is Blockchain the Answer to Digital Certification of Vaccination?
Countries have begun to get a handle on COVID-19. More people are getting vaccinated. We are anxiously awaiting the day when economies open again and we can reconnect with family, friends, business colleagues, and our communities once more.
While governments' focus has rightly been on managing this health crisis and obtaining enough vaccines to protect citizens, has there been any thought as to how these vaccination documents will be used?
Is it a violation of our human and data privacy rights to demand proof of vaccination? Are the documents themselves prone to loss or fraud?
In most cases, our vaccination certificates consist of a simple piece of paper that contains the basic vaccination information: name, date of birth, address, product/manufacturer, lot number, clinic, date administered, and so forth. This form of credential is far too vulnerable to fraud.
There is talk of a digital vaccine passport of sorts, but in what form?
As our governments and society at large consider other restrictions designed to protect against flare-ups of COVID-19, we are already seeing evidence that proof of vaccination will be required not just to travel to other countries, but to participate in events, gain access to venues, and attend school or college. In this scenario, the authenticity of any certificates presented by individuals becomes an issue, and that assumes there are no other legal concerns surrounding these restrictions. We will make individual decisions as to whether we choose to confirm our vaccination status, but must acknowledge that proof of vaccination status is likely to be a "thing" as we move into the next normal.
With the recent G7 agreement to recognize each other's certificates, there must be a simple, accessible way for an individual to authorize the sharing of the information. And yet, there are many outstanding questions regarding the digital certification of vaccination. Namely:
How easily/quickly will the G7 agree upon what comprises a valid vaccination certificate?
Will a simple paper vaccination certificate suffice as proof?
How will that document be validated on presentation?
How much fraud is expected given the low-tech nature of some of these certificates?
If I receive my vaccination certificate electronically via email, is that adequate proof?
And perhaps most important, how will we individually control access to and sharing of that information so that our personal privacy is maintained?
The blockchain-enabled myLaminin platform we are building will quickly deliver the security and 100 percent assurance of the authenticity of vaccination certificates (or for that matter a personal document of importance.)
myLaminin will only permit issuing authorities to add these credentials to the platform and assigns that credential to an individual's 'digital wallet'. This provides a citizen with complete control over whether to share that information with any organization requesting access to that credential. On the other side, the organization is provided with 100 percent assurance of the authenticity of the certificate/credential.
myLaminin will issue certificates directly from the systems of record of participating clinics (or organizations). As people become increasingly concerned about their personal data privacy and demand solutions that are not vulnerable to data breaches and give them more control and convenience over their important personal data, private-permissioned blockchain platforms will increasingly become the norm.
We are continuing our work to deliver the alpha release of our myLaminin platform and we are looking forward to making it broadly available and easy to integrate in the coming months ahead.
We are actively seeking to collaborate with certificate-issuing organizations in health, government, education, and private sector networks, and we look forward to sharing our experience with you all soon.